South Shore Author’s Book Series Sends Vital Message to Teen Readers

Article by Olivia Halle, Hingham, Massachusetts

Olivia Halle is a senior at Hingham High School. She is a member of the Varsity Tennis Team and also enjoys sailing, reading, and hiking. Olivia is involved in Hingham’s Mentor Program, Green Team, and Medical Sciences Club along with being president of her school’s National Honor Society. 

Stacy A. Padula is an author from the south shore of Massachusetts whose Gripped book series is currently being adapted for television. As a senior in high school who recently read Gripped Part 2: Blindsided, I believe the Gripped series should be read by adolescents despite its mature content because it examines the harsh realities of drug use.

After finishing Blindsided, readers will come out with a better understanding on the detrimental effects of drug use along with the ability to navigate these issues in their own lives. Middle schoolers and high schoolers alike will most likely begin to be exposed to the difficulties of addiction, and by reading a book that handles this kind of content in a digestible manner, readers will be best prepared to to put themselves in situations where they will not be at risk of drug abuse and will have the ability to share their knowledge with others. Kids will learn that they will face challenges in the years to come, but they will take their knowledge of the detrimental effects of drug use on health and personal relationships in order to properly navigate adolescence.

Although Blindsided heavily focuses on the brutal nature of the abuse of drugs, it also handles unhealthy relationships and communication skills, which are universal issues that may be more prevalent than exposure to drugs. The book teaches the importance of checking in on friends, making sure mental health is a priority, and at the end of the day being able to have sincere conversations about struggling. If readers take away one lesson from this book, they will understand the value of maintaining healthy relationships and prioritizing all aspects of health.


Now being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman!

Fourteen-year-old Chris Dunkin is known for being the life of the party and everyone’s favorite friend. Despite his amicable nature, he carries around deep-seated pain from his childhood that he frequently numbs with alcohol and drugs.

After hosting a party, Chris awakes with a strange vibe running through his body and no recollection of the previous night. When he learns the horrifying truth of what his night entailed, the trajectory of his life is changed forever.

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.